Tag Archives: accountable

Destination Disasterville

I was supporting a training course yesterday at work, which was centred around strategic planning for some of our senior team. I love days like that, where you go along thinking you could probably recite the content standing on your head but end up learning a bunch of stuff in the process. You don’t know what you don’t know, right?

One of the exercises really captured my imagination. As a way to drive home the importance of proper planning, the facilitator asked the guys to imagine for a moment that they’d failed to deliver one of the key things they are accountable for. He wanted them to really think about what the consequences of that failure might be. Serious stuff, right? The scenarios they fed back included us losing customers, business, revenue, jobs…the full monty.

Now, I’ve not seen that exercise done before, and as I listened, I found myself participating from the sidelines and doing that thing where my mind anchors everything right back to what’s important in my world. So I set off thinking about my journey down the scale, and the fact that I’m the one who’s accountable for whether or not I manage to shift the extra arse I’ve been carrying around in my pants for the last few years.

Losing weight is the most significant part of my life plan, and has been for the best part of two years, but what would the consequences be if I failed? I didn’t need to imagine very hard, I mean I’ve been there for real more times than I can even count.

I see myself laid in my big fat reclining armchair, peering over the top of my belly at the TV as I watch The Biggest Loser, all the while shovelling cheese balls into my mouth, three or four at a time from the third family-sized bag that I’ll share with the dog in one sitting. Well, I say share…two hundred and ninety seven for me, one for him. Come on, I’m a responsible dog owner and don’t want him to get fat.

In my mind’s eye, I see myself heave three hundred and fifty pounds of lard off the chair and waddle it to the kitchen, so I can retrieve the Daim cake which is defrosting. It’s still frozen but fuck it, I’ll eat it anyway. I don’t mind it being a bit cold. 

As I shuffle back to my armchair with the whole Daim cake on a plate, I feel pissed off at the way my ankles and my knees hurt. It’s not fair. I’ve got an itch on my foot that I can’t bend down far enough to scratch because my belly gets in the way and I look like I’ve got three pillows of fat strapped around my middle. You don’t even want to imagine the rear view. 

I don’t wear anything on my feet that requires more of me than shuffling my foot forward in order to put them on, because fastening any kind of strap or buckle below the knee would cause my eyes to bulge like they’re going to pop right out of my head. Along with the grunting…that happens automatically when the fat I carry on the inside forces the air out of my lungs whenever I try to bend down. I live a vertical life for that reason, or at least I would if I could stand up long enough. Two minutes is about my max, before I start looking around for somewhere to sit down.

With a bit of luck there’ll be a chair without arms, because my arse struggles with the concept of a one-arse sized seat. Chair arms dig right into my legs and my skin will turn blue with bruises. If I do manage to find a seat without arms I’ll never relax in case it’s not geared up to hold an arse the size of mine…the thought of being a fat girl flailing on an exploded chair like a turtle on it’s back fills my heart with dread.

That’s what failure looks like to me, because there’s no middle ground.

Like the sound of needle scraping across vinyl, I woke up to myself in the present day when the facilitator brought the room back, and I almost cried with sheer fucking relief that I’m just fat. On a scale of fatness, I’m still right of the midline but I’m definitely not all the way over to the fat fat fat side. Not any more.

I can walk without pain, left knee excepted from time to time. Hell, I can circuit train, I can box and I can hold a plank for almost a minute. I swing kettle bells. I can cycle, and they even make padded cycling shorts in my size, which tells you that I’m on the fat edge of fucking normal. Move along folks, nothing to see here.

Fat isn’t limiting my life in the way that it did two years ago, and fat will never limit my life again. That’s the promise that I’ve made to myself and with every step I take, I can see that old life getting more and more distanced from who I am.

Failure..? Not on your nelly 🙂

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The Ground Beneath My Feet

You know I’d forgotten how good it feels to have solid ground beneath my feet. I walked into the bathroom yesterday morning ready to face the Shitbird Scale and I was bordering on excited to see the number…it reminded me of being in school and walking into the classroom to take a test that I’d studied for, as opposed to my usual adolescent approach of winging it and hoping for the best.

As a child, I was naturally bright which is a double-edged sword in a lot of respects. Deploying half an ear in the classroom whilst daydreaming about Duran Duran, and a cursory flick through my exercise books the night before an exam usually saw me scrape through with middle-of-the-road marks and a could do better on my school reports but hey, a pass is a pass, right? I didn’t learn to apply myself until much later in life but I have to admit, much of the last year has been about winging it…the last 3 months in particular.

Last week – with the exception of Sunday’s false start – saw me really colouring inside the lines. I pointed everything, wrote it down and added it up. I didn’t buy any naughties when I did the food shop so there’s been nothing in the cupboards to tempt me. I ate clean – well, with the exception of one Chinese takeaway which I chose carefully so I could stay within points – and I planned well. Shitbird Scale handed me a 2.5lbs loss, which when you consider that I had to write last Sunday off as a disaster and had only 6 days to shine wasn’t half bad. Worth an A on the old report card for sure.

The process of photographing the number on the scale as I stand on it then posting it on here is working beautifully, because there’s nowhere to hide. It’s about as accountable as you can get, right? Honestly, I hate that it’s out there, I mean even skinny string beans mostly like to keep the actual number a secret, but by the same token I’m finding it’s a great way of focusing the mind.

Better than that, yesterday morning I found myself deciding what I wanted to weigh in at next weekend, and I even wrote it down…I’m hoping the thought of that mini-goal will help to add another layer of gatekeeping to support the cause this week. Every little helps, and it goes right back to the concept of the article I shared with you back in the early days on the aggregation of marginal gains…it might be just a little thing, but lots of little things gather momentum and make a big difference.

I feel happy, positive and incredibly upbeat as we go into this week. I’ve gotten over last week’s Diva moment, where life felt unfair because I was being forced against my will to pass up food opportunities which should have been mine for the taking. In hindsight, I made wise choices. I can look back and celebrate my self-control, instead of regretting my decision to give into the need for short-term gratification. I laid in bed last night thinking about the lunch I’ve carefully prepared to take to work today, and the big plump grapes which are washed and ready to eat, and I felt almost euphoric.

May I be so bold as to declare that I’ve reclaimed my place in the sweet spot..? I know I’m taking it one day at a time and today is only day eight… but already, the ground beneath my feet feels more solid 🙂

 

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Challenge By Challenge

cabin

So the first half of the week hasn’t been bad, in fact I went to bed on Tuesday night with a chunk of food budget left in the bank. I know! I stood in front of the fridge wondering what I could have with my remaining daily Smart Point and it struck me that I didn’t really want anything. I could’ve licked the corner of a Malteser, you know? Mind you, I’d just eaten a huge portion of melon and was nursing a significant food baby at the time, but even so it’s the first time in a while where I’ve underspent my budget.

Maybe it’s because I’d just been mooching on-line and totally blown my actual budget on another handbag, which I didn’t need and couldn’t really afford…maybe I just needed to demonstrate to myself that I AM in fact capable of acting with restraint..? Whatever the reason I’m claiming it as a victory. And the handbag is gorgeous (shoot me now) 🙂

I was in a full day off-site meeting yesterday where lunch was provided, and being familiar with the venue I know it’s never very healthy so I’d prepared a boxed salad to take with me, and I just asked the restaurant manager for a little bit of ham. I’m trying to get right back into the discipline of proper planning, you know? Last week I was in the same venue and I almost broke my neck at lunchtime getting to the sandwiches and chips but this week I headed my fat thinking off at the pass and it was no drama at all, the guy was happy to help.

My challenge is going to come this weekend…it’s our bi-annual girly get together. If you’ve been reading along for a while you’ll remember the last time, where all my friends turned up with exercise gear for the first time ever in support of my training regime. It was a real departure from our usual drink-your-own-bodyweight-in-prosecco and eat naughties ‘till your eyes pop out kind of weekend, and don’t get me wrong, the bottle bank saw a fair bit of action as we left, but their support made it easier for me to stay in the right mindset all weekend – I made it work for me.

This time, given my recent wobble I’m planning very carefully. I’m going to walk on Saturday…it’s a beautiful spot and if I get three or four miles in I’ll go some way to counteracting the prosecco and an odd treat here or there. I’m going to take masses of fruit, and try not to eat loads of chocolate. And Sunday, as we leave, is a brand new shiny week so any indiscretions can be wiped off the map, right?

Being in this for the long haul goes right back to finding some kind of balance…it has to work for me. If I’m sat there resenting the fact that all my friends can have things I can’t it’s going to piss me right off and I’m likely to face-plant into the naughties at warp speed without a second thought.

I know I planned a super-clean eating week this week, but actually these weekends with my friends are precious and no way do I intend to sit off to the side sipping water and nibbling a fucking carrot stick. Of course it’s about the company not the food and lets be honest, if I can go to Las Vegas for five days with this gorgeous lot and lose a pound, managing a weekend in a log cabin without the wheels coming off should be a walk in the park. Even when my head’s had a wobble and the Asshole who lives in there has had a higher than average strike rate over recent weeks.

I’m playing the long game. I always come home from these weekends with my soul lifted by gossip and giggles and the joy of spending time with friends who get me and whose company is effortless. I’m planning to step out of the weekend on the other side without regrets and if I’ve consumed my own bodyweight in crap I won’t be able to. So I’m not going to. Challenge by challenge eh? I can do this.

I’m posting early because I’m tied up tomorrow and then I’m scooting off to the middle of nowhere with my besties for two days of R&R. Have a great weekend everyone and see you on the other side 🙂

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Too Easily Persuaded

sweating

Hands up who’s ever made a prosecco-related decision which turned out not to be your smartest move? Yeah, me too. I had a lovely evening on Saturday, you know one of those unplanned evenings that springs up out of nowhere and turns into something unexpected..? There was a beer and prosecco festival in the next town that a few of my friends had been involved in arranging, and having been invited along my intention was to go and have a couple of scoops late afternoon and then head home for my usual Saturday evening in front of the TV with my four-legged fur baby.

It certainly wasn’t my intention to drink my own bodyweight in prosecco before leading the charge to a local Indian restaurant where I proceeded to work my way through their menu. That wasn’t on the cards at all when I left home. But…well, that’s what happened. The prosecco flowed until after dark, everybody left  except me and one of my friends and a bunch of her friends who I’d met for the first time that evening, and when someone said I fancy some food, my tipsy asshole voice was on it like a car bonnet. Indian! Let’s go for Indian food! 

Actually if it’d come into being on the back of a solid week I could probably have got away with it, but for some reason last week it was a tough dieting week so my fizz-fuelled decision to throw caution to the wind and nosh my way through poppadoms with a full pickle tray, onion bhajis and a chicken korma with pilau rice didn’t strictly correspond to the number of smart points I had available in my food budget. Like, not at all.

Saturday night is the very end of my dieting week remember, so it was down to the wire…I’d left home with 12 points available to me, which probably equated to three glasses of prosecco. I definitely had at least six of those after trying the local cider which nearly took the enamel off my teeth, and my ability to keep a count got a little compromised after that so there may have been more if I’m honest.

So, philosophically speaking I don’t regret the evening at all…it was fun, we laughed a lot and it was good to meet some new people. I thoroughly enjoyed myself. Sunday morning however, well that was a different story. I wasn’t hungover as such, to be honest by the time I got in on Saturday the food had pretty much soaked up the prosecco. But I felt sluggish. Like I’d eaten a big rich meal just before bed…oh, hang on a minute that’s because I did eat a big rich meal just before bed. Doh.

Safe to say then that an hour of circuit training followed by an hour of boxing didn’t appeal much when I opened my eyes. Or at all. But you know what, I went. I dragged my sorry ass around those circuits through gritted teeth, because it was the start of a brand shiny new week and I’m on it. God help those poor people who had to witness me sweating turmeric out of every pore…I thought I was going to die.

I don’t know why last week was a difficult week, food wise…I think perhaps front-loading my points didn’t help. Last Sunday I had a bit of a blow-out so I had to manage my food budget pretty carefully for the rest of the week, which is guaranteed to make me want to rebel… I know this, it’s not like it’s new news but I guess there are some lessons that need to be learned over and again before they’re baked in, right? The whole week felt like an uphill slog, and I struggled to keep focus so the Indian meal on Saturday was sort of king turd of turd mountain as far as dodgy food choices were concerned.

I’m determined this week will be different. According to the bitch in the bathroom I lost no weight last week, but I didn’t gain any either, so I’ve dodged a bullet and I’m pulling out all the stops. Lets see how much of this arse I can offload in the nineteen days before we set off for Cuba, eh?

Onwards 🙂

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Some Kind Of Balance

balance

I woke up yesterday morning feeling very skinny, which is odd when you consider that I’m still one hundred and two pounds heavier than I intend to be this time next year. But then, don’t you think feeling skinny is a subjective thing anyway? I have a friend who often says I’m having a fat day today, as she stands there in all her skinniness looking for all the world like she needs to eat a meal. But in that skinny moment she feels fat, in the same way that I laid in bed yesterday morning with all my spare tyres feeling skinny.

The truth of the matter is that I’m nearer to skinny than I’ve been in recent years. I’m back at my pre-holiday weight, in fact I’m a pound under and you know what that means…the last couple of weeks have gone according to plan. Well, ish. I wanted to come back from holiday weighing the same as when I went, and if we discount the few days where my plumbing went into lockdown, I pretty much pulled it off.

I feel so proud of that. I’m proud of the fact that I managed to get straight back on track from the minute I came home – I’ve not managed to do that too many times in my life – yeah, try never – and I’ve spent the last few days trying to put my finger on exactly what’s been different this time.

I think it’s because although I spent a few days with my foot off the gas, I never actually disengaged my head from this journey. In the past, when I’ve pressed pause on a diet, it’s involved ripping up sensible altogether – if I’m not going to be very very good then sod it, I’m going to be very very bad…you get the picture. No point in being good at dinner when I’ve been wicked at lunch! No point in exercising because my diet’s gone to shit so what’s the point! All or nothing, which is the sort of crooked thinking which has derailed many weight-loss attempts over the years. My past is littered with them.

This time I managed to keep a watching brief on everything I ate, even though I ate a lot. Well, with the notable exception of the rocky road dessert. I still don’t have a scooby doo how many portions of that I actually ate. However, most other naughties were noted and enjoyed, without guilt but with acknowledgement that I’d have to work extra hard to deal with the consequences, whether that was on holiday or after I came home. My head accepted that…and it stayed in the game.

I squeezed in extra opportunities to exercise, like getting back off the ship to walk the steps in Alesund, and climbing up that waterfall on the morning of the day where I’d already booked a challenging hike in the afternoon. I didn’t have to do those things, but all the time I was focused on keeping some kind of balance. More food? Right then…more exercise too.

I didn’t need to get my head back in the game when I came home because the truth is, it never stepped out. And you know what, I’m feeling more sure footed than ever now I’ve proved to myself that thinking about things in a different way made me act in a different way. I pulled it off…how cool is that.

I’ve got this. One hundred and two pounds to go.

This time next year… 🙂

 

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